Women’s soccer falls short to Long Beach State


Christopher Riscen

CSUN’s Kacie Garrity, center, kicks the ball upfield against Long Beach State in Northridge, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021.

Bryan Hernandez, Reporter

CSUN entered Thursday’s match against California State University, Long Beach full of confidence after last week’s 1-0 victory.

Before taking on Long Beach State, CSUN honored seven senior squad members who were given a plaque with their jersey number on it.

The Matadors were hoping to repeat another home win, but fell short 1-0 against Long Beach State, who were hard to break down defensively.

“It’s too bad [the loss] is coming at the end of the season, but I think there are some good takeaways. I think several players had a good night,” CSUN assistant coach Christine Johnson said. “We lost, but it doesn’t feel like a loss. I’m pretty proud of them.”

In the opening 20 minutes, the Matadors looked sharp going forward, recording a couple shot attempts on goal.

Defender Kacie Garrity paced forward from the wing, sending an inswinger with the inside of her foot inside Long Beach’s penalty box. Near the right post came midfielder Sophie Yanez, who went for a header but missed the ball by centimeters.

Minutes later, attacking midfielder Cindy Arteaga came close to putting CSUN ahead. Arteaga cut inside from the left wing, composing herself before releasing the ball toward Long Beach’s goalkeeper Morgan Houston-Shepherd’s far post. Unfortunately, the shot hit the post and went out for a goal kick.

Long Beach State was patient in the final third, holding possession of the ball for the most part — while dropping back to close down any CSUN attack throughout the entire 90 minutes of the match.

Long Beach used six players to attack and four players to defend, constantly using the wings to connect with each other and send crosses or dangerous passes inside CSUN’s penalty area.

With under 30 minutes to play in the first half, a through ball from Long Beach State defender Kaylee Ramirez found forward Lena Silano, who dribbled into the CSUN box and fended off both a defender and the goalkeeper that rushed out her line.

Silano sent her pass to forward Kayla Cannon, who had the easy task of tapping the ball into an empty net from six yards out to give LBS a 1-0 lead.

The home fans created an atmosphere of excitement in hopes of encouraging CSUN by chanting, “Let’s go CSUN! Let’s go!”

The Matadors kept pushing in the second half to find the game-tying goal, but Long Beach’s defensive block limited shot attempts, frustrating CSUN’s attack.

“We went to three in the back at one point to try to get some numbers up,” Garrity said. “We got our shots off, but we just couldn’t get it into the back of the net today.”

Arteaga’s third attempt at goal saw her shoot from outside the box in the 85th minute, but her strike would go out wide.

In the dying seconds of the match, CSUN was given a free kick outside Long Beach’s penalty area. Senior midfielder Sydney Gilbert swung the ball from 30 yards out toward Long Beach’s far post, but Gilbert would see her shot get saved by the goalie just slightly away from the goal line.

There were nine shot attempts and four shots on target recorded for the Matadors. For Long Beach, there were a total of 15 shot attempts made and six shots on target.

After Thursday’s match, CSUN now stands in eighth-place in the Big West Conference with a 2-5 record. The Matadors are 3-14 overall this season.

“We just got to keep playing with heart,” Garrity said.

Long Beach State is now 6-1-1, and keeps their second-place standing in the Big West.

CSUN plays against University of California, Irvine on Sunday before going to California State University, Fullerton next week.